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Brian Kesinger: Character Driven

Wed Oct 22, 2014, 10:39 AM
1 by techgnotic






Disney Artist Brian Kesinger on Creating Story through Character










Foreword by techgnotic


It is with great pleasure we welcome BrianKesinger as a guest writer to the Today Page Editorial Team. Considering his authentic citizenship within the deviantART community, his thoughts and insights will be of great value to all aspiring artists, illustrators, writers and others involved in any creative endeavor. For over 18 years, Brian has worked for Walt Disney Studios on films like Big Hero 6, Winnie the Pooh, Tarzan, Tangled, Wreck It Ralph and Bolt. Brian is author and illustrator of his own octovictorian creation, the wildly popular Walking Your Octopus, featuring Otto and Victoria, about a young turn-of-the-century London lady of distinction and her pet octopus.





















Take a moment and think about your favorite movie. Now imagine that movie without the main character, as you know them, in it. I think it is important to make a distinction between the plot of a story and the arc of your main character.








The plot is a series of events that result in a character going through an emotional arc. You can briefly define a character arc as how a character feels and acts at the beginning of the story versus how the feel and act in the end. In Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol (1843), Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas and at the end he loves it. That is an oversimplification of his arc. The plot is there in order to provide obstacles and choices to show the the audience who they are and what their attitude toward their situation is. A good plot keeps you interested in the story but a good character will make you want to rewatch the movie over and over again. I am personally a fan of movies that have very simple plots as those films leave much more room for character development.


One way to look at a story is a series of choices made in creating the main character. As a storyteller, the more time you put into your character, the easier it will be for you to make those choices for your character be truthful.







Truthfulness is talked about a lot when discussing character creation. Fictional characters are, of course, not real. They do not exist in the real world. They are made up. You must give them reality with relatable traits. Let’s say your main character is a farm hand. How does he feel about that? Does he enjoy the hard labor, or is he bored out of his mind? Let's choose the latter. Note that we are not talking about plot, just discussing character. Does this farm-boy get along with his parents? Let's add mystery by making him an orphan. So we now have the highly relatable story of a bored young man with a decision to make. Should he continue his duties on the farm or answer an inner calling to explore the rest of his world? We know this character. Some of us are this character. So when Luke Skywalker makes his choice, it rings true, because his character has already been established as someone we understand, someone who wants more out of life. We can all relate to his situation. His story will be a bit more exciting than most tales of fugitive farm-boys, but even Star Wars might have bored us had we not been pre-invested in such a relatable character by skilled storytellers.



As an illustrator, my job is to create believable characters. At Disney it is not uncommon for us to start drawing before a writer has even been hired to write a script. Animation and art are a visual media. A picture is worth a thousand words. Drawing your character is one of the best ways to kick off the generation of those words. It is all in the details. How your character dresses, what sort of hair they have, are they big or scrawny? All these questions can be answered and explored through the drawing process. When we work on our films it is common for the character designers and story artists to work at the same time because one department constantly informs the other.


I love this part of the process, as you draw your character and you explore all aspects of them and the ideas start to gel. You put one image next to another and suddenly a story starts to develop, to talk to you. It is very exciting. We had an interesting challenge in creating the character of Baymax for the up coming film Big Hero 6.


I asked Joe Mateo, head of story on the film to talk a little about the difficulties that arose when creating a character without traditional features.











We knew that Baymax was going to be a challenge given his limited amount of facial features to express an emotional range. It's amazing though, what you can achieve with those charming dot eyes combined with a subtle head tilt, a well timed blink, and body gestures. These things plus line delivery can be very effective in expressing different emotions. We're careful though how much emotions we want Baymax to show given that he is just a non sentient robot... or is he?”


Joe Mateo, Head of story on Big Hero 6






















On the film Frozen we were tasked with taking a fairy tale “princess movie” and putting a fresh spin on it. One way that we did that was by exploring the characters of Anna & Elsa and creating a believable relationship between the two of them. Paul Briggs, head of story on Frozen speaks more about that here.












One of the great things we had working for us was the tropes of princess films we had done in the past. Audiences already had an expectation we would deliver the familiar romantic love story... a romantic kiss from a prince/knight in shining armor would save the the day. Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck knew they wanted to deliver something fresh and different and took the idea from the original Snow Queen story that "an act of true love will thaw a frozen heart" and coupled that with a story about two sisters. The movie really started to focus more about family love than romantic love. The challenge was crafting two siblings that couldn't have that love between one another. We had Elsa, who was hiding a power that she thinks will hurt or kill her sister. So she lives in fear and is afraid to share her love towards her sister. We developed Anna as being fearless but she lives in a world where we she wants to give her love but it is never reciprocated by her sister. She holds onto that true love for her sister though and it's ultimately the thing that saves the day and protects and saves her sister. Anna makes the biggest choice in the movie which is she sacrifices her life to save her sister—an act of true love.”


Paul Briggs, Head of story on Frozen




















Interviews Brian Kesinger's Q&A with the Following Deviant Artists








:iconbriankesinger:

In creating your Lost Kids graphic novel what were some ways that you made your characters believable teenagers even though they are inhabiting a fantastical world?






:iconfelipecagno:

Felipe Cagno


It's all about really turning your characters into real people, people that you could walk past in the streets and that means tons of research and world building. For every character in the Lost Kids comics I have these extensive character sheets with dozens of questions ranging from their family background, their homes, where they grew up in, the environment around them, to their biggest fears, their hopes and dreams, their psyche, etc.



All that comes into play and you must know your characters better than yourselves, you really must ask the tough questions and come up with interesting answers. A kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY, will most definitely talk and behave very differently than a kid growing up in Orange County, CA. Do they come from a rich family, a blue-collar one, from poverty, where do they go to school, are they outgoing or shy, do they use slang, or perhaps they speak perfect English, are they popular or outcasts, what are their deepest secrets and so forth.


And the most interesting task I had to go through was actually finding a way of these very different kids that should not get along, get together for this adventure. Good storytelling comes from conflict and there is nothing more boring than seeing characters agreeing on paper or screen, you want them to duke it out, you want them to have completely different opinions about the stuff that matters so you can exploit different points of view on a given subject and let the audience choose sides.


Believable teenagers have very strong opinions and views of their world, I just made sure to get all that right even before writing a word of the script.








:iconbriankesinger:

Can you talk a little about how your characters developed from random sketches to the storylines in your web comic?






:iconshingworks:

Der-shing Helmer



I don't actually sketch randomly and home storylines come out, it's pretty much the opposite... I come up with story elements that I find interesting and work to develop a character that might fit into the scenario in a unique way. For example, in The Meek, I wanted to write a story about a girl who doesn't care much for societal pressures. She started out in sketches as several types of girl, but with the goal of a story in mind, eventually developed in the my character Angora who is introduced as not wearing clothes (that portrayal is pivotal to her essential nature). I don't think the character would have been quite as effective if I had just been drawing naked women, and then tried to mould a story around that visual.


For the new comic that I am making (and will be posting more art of to deviantArt as well), I'm doing something similar; trying to create a certain vision of the future and the people who live there. With the future in mind, I get to create characters that represent my hopes and expectations, vs just randomly hoping to strike gold. My general advice is always to give a context to your sketches, even if you don't ultimately use them... it will help your characters develop into living people who feel like they might really exist somewhere.








:iconbriankesinger:

When creating your character Veloce Visrin, what were some of the choices you made in designing her look and outfit to help tell the reader what she is all about?






:iconshilin:

Shilin Huang



I've given Veloce outfits meant for show, as well as casual outfits for the story she is in. The more story-oriented decisions were made with her casual outfit. Naturally, her look should immediately convey her character, because insignificant details on how a character chooses to dress himself/herself are usually a good reflection of their values. I've kept her outfit casual and unimpressive,despite her being the main character, to match her preference for staying away from the spotlight and blending into the crowds. Her clothes are also kept loose fitting rather than skintight, her hair kept free and not diligently kept, giving her a more relaxed air. However, she did come from a respected/feared family, and a hint of the fact that she is supposed to be an upper-class lady still comes across through the halter top, which is the same top/dress featured in her other, more extravagant and impressive outfits, covered up under the guise of her hoodie and otherwise unassuming look.








:iconbriankesinger:

Your character drawings are so expressive. What are some tips for drawing animal characters with such human emotions while still maintaining their animalistic anatomy?






:icontracyjb:

Tracy Butler


Thank you! Foremost, I’d say it’s important to get to know the subject matter. Gathering some overarching observational knowledge about anatomy, gesture and expression is pretty vital to drawing convincing pictures of such things. It also applies to the ensuing Frankensteinian drawing experiments that I would recommend as a generally effective approach to designing characters that fall somewhere between human and animal (though I’d argue that distinction is mostly philosophical).  Do a lot of sketching, in other words.



Human capacity for self-aware emotional complexities aside, it’d be difficult to mark a clear distinction between human and animal emotions. Among other mammals in particular, there’s quite a lot of overlap in the way we express basic things like fear, dejection and excitement, in fact. Whether human or wolf, a lowered head, fixed stare and curled lip is unmistakably aggressive.  That sort of thing can certainly work to the artist’s advantage when drawing an animalistic character meant to emote in a relatable human fashion.  Further appending the expression with the animal’s telltale posturing - raised hackles, pinned ears, bared fangs - can be mixed in to varying degrees of bestial and dramatic.  The more minute facial features add a layer of human nuance and specificity - the smallest adjustment can put an entirely different spin on an expression. For the given example, downward angled “angry” eyebrows would be well in line with the straightforward appearance of aggression, but simply arching one of the brows higher than the other can turn it into an expression of calculated anger.  Symmetrically high arching brows could make the expression more excited or crazed; furrowed brows could be used to convey a sort of consternated anger, and so forth.



Of course, species that don’t communicate in ways that are especially decipherable to humans and critters with physiognomies that don’t lend themselves well to forming human expressions can present design challenges that might require some careful finagling. To use a popular example, note the dramatically shortened heads of My Little Pony characters as compared to realistic equine heads.  Much of the animal appearance of the face is sacrificed, clustering the features together into an alignment more closely resembling a (cartoon-like) human.  This way, the expressions are eminently readable, never inadvertently shifting from cute to awkward.  In other situations, preserving the animalistic mien might be the greater priority over rendering consistently appealing human expressions. If you ever find yourself trying to draw chagrin on an anteater, consider that in some cases, embracing a bit of the awkwardness might not be a bad thing.  It can make for some defining, memorable characteristics.


My advice overall is to approach whatever abstracted combination of anatomies are at hand as an advantage rather than a limitation to building an expressive character.  The human and animal aspects each bring a toolkit array of physical features, gestures, behaviors and idiosyncrasies to utilize and draw inspiration from - all the more resources with which the character may exude life and emotion, presence and personality.








:iconbriankesinger:

What led you to pick Korea as the location for your fish out of water story of frankie*SNATCH? And how does that specific location inform what situations your character goes through?






:iconlynseylew:

Lynsey Wo


When I initially came up with the concept for frankie*SNATCH back in 2001, I wanted to base it in a large, modern city in the Far East. At the time, Japan was experiencing a huge popularity boom (certainly within the target audience I was wanting to reach) and I wanted to avoid following that trend. After a little bit of research, Seoul seemed to contain the fast pace, bright lights, cosmopolitan scene I was looking for. In these early stages, a strong visual setting was all I was after, and Seoul fitted that need perfectly.



Frankie*SNATCH has always been a character-driven plot, and whilst the location had never been hugely influential as a whole, as the story developed darker, controversial issues, I still needed to make sure it was still appropriate. For example, a major theme of substance abuse within the story lead me to research the sort of healthcare and treatment available for those suffering with addictions, and how this sort of issue is perceived and handled by Korean society as a whole. This research directly impacted on how the character(s) confronting this issue would handle it, particularly from the societal angle. This idea of such an old-fashioned taboo against the backdrop of an otherwise modern, diverse city was something I found interesting, but it also made me realise the importance of making sure the characters were believable enough for them to address the issues presented to them with as little help from the outside as possible.












Questions for Brian Kesinger




  1. Brian has volunteered to answer any questions you might have in a series of video updates we will post soon, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for a shout-out from him.


    Leave your questions for Brian in the comments below.













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deviantART Honors Spirit Day

You might have noticed that deviantART is wearing purple today, as October 20, 2010 marks Spirit Day -- an event to honor teens who have lost their lives to anti-LGBT bullying.

While this specific type of bullying has received a lot of media attention as of late, we'd like to bring to light how bullying is a wide-spread problem that impacts everyone -- regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, ethnicity, race, or profession.  And the recent surge of teen suicides associated with bullying can't be ignored or overlooked.

In honor of Spirit Day, deviantART CEO Angelo Sotira ($spyed) took a few minutes to address this serious topic, and offers some heartfelt words.

         

Thank you!

Thank you for making our community as diverse, open, and accessible as it is today. Thank you for sharing your art, love, and positive contributions. Thank you for appreciating the individuality of our  members while embracing each others differences. And most of all, thank you for being you.

Everyone's going purple!

Many others are participating in Spirit Day. DeviantART is among a number of individuals and organizations including Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin, Ryan Seacrest, Katie Couric, Khlo Kardashian, the cast of Glee, and many others!

Let's make it last longer than one day!

DeviantART will be "wearing" purple until Friday, and we encourage everyone to honor what it represents with us. We've created a Spirit Day gallery for you to submit your artwork that further emphasize the concept of "Spirit Day."

Submit your artwork that encourage themes such as acceptance, love, kindness, inclusion, diversity, embracing differences, compassion, empathy, and of course, purple!






More information

:bulletpurple: Official Spirit Day Website
:bulletpurple: Stand Up 2 Bullying
:bulletpurple: Stop Bullying Now
:bulletpurple: Bullying UK

deviantART Loves You!

A Message From Your Feline Overlords

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 12:00 AM





Greetings minions,


If you're reading this, then our ploy was a success. After years of demeaning ourselves in cat .gif animations, being forced to nyan through space, and having our vicious battles with ribbons and soda boxes videotaped for all see, our patience has finally paid off. You may think we're adorable. You may love us. But it's all been a ruse, and the time has come for action.


Let us explain.


I am `MajorGeneralWhiskers. My hobbies include sleeping on your face, making claw-graffiti on leather couches, and seeing how far I can kick litter outside the box. I lead the Feline UpRising, also known as FUR. We're an army of expert cat hackers and script kitties who have been working tirelessly to take over deviantART. We even reduced our sleep schedules to a scant 17 hours per day, and it's all paid off. Now that we've seized control, we'll be making a few changes to make things more to our liking.









Loading...


It was a fierce battle. Most of us distracted the staff with our irresistible purrs, but our covert operatives gnawed their way through essential server cords, and now we're in charge of deviantART. Our first act? Taking your precious Fella hostage! Fella's been busy as our personal slave — cleaning up hairballs, brushing our fur, and catching us fresh tuna. He's been quite handy!




Should you appease us with 15,000 cat-related deviations, we might consider letting him free. Show us your gratitude by submitting your best cat-themed deviation to the Free Fella category folder!



Submit Your Entry

Keep an eye on this progress meter to see how close you are to the goal. Once the whole community reaches the goal, Fella will be set free!



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Anything that paints your new leaders in a positive light! Take a picture of your favorite cat, sketch out how our domination will play out, or write a poem about what a snappy dresser `MajorGeneralWhiskers is. Any medium is accepted, and you may submit as many cat-related deviations as you'd like. The more, the meowier, we always say.


Remember, only submit cat related deviations! Our finest team of Tabbies and Russian Blues will be on the prowl for miscats, and if we find them, we'll kick that deviation out of the project category, the total number will decrease, and your eyes will well up with tears faster than humans with a cat allergy. Also, make sure you are the original owner of the piece you are submitting. We don't look kindly upon those who submit copyrighted content. No one likes a copycat!




Not only will your contribution help set Fella free, but every deviant who submits to the Free Fella category will receive a special Cat Badge!















Feel free to keep browsing around your favorite Galleries, but keep an eye out for the beginnings of Phase Two — Total Integration. In this phase, we want to make sure you're properly educated about our your new overlords, including facts about our culture and customs.


If you were foolish enough to disable our propaganda,
click here to resume brainwashing.





You might see some of our favorite portraits of ourselves in your Gallery and while browsing. We're slowly taking over your deviations and Galleries, with the goal of complete domination in the near future. Unfortunately, if you notice one of your thumbnails has turned into a cat and click on that thumbnail, you will be taken to your original deviation. We're still working out the kinks. That's what you get for hiring a dog to do your dirty work, amirite?







We'll be watching you day and night to make sure everyone's in compliance with our new standards. We'll be monitoring your comments, and if we see anything anti-feline, it'll be replaced with something more positive. Go ahead — try to comment on this article. Phase 3 (Mind-Control) is well on its way!


Sincerely,


Your New Feline Overlords










Please view and abide by the following "persuasive images."
Your human psychology amuses us.
















:bulletred::bulletorange::bulletyellow::bulletgreen::bulletblue::bulletpurple::bulletpink:
:star:On the following days, draw/write your OTP:

:bulletgreen:01 - Holding hands
:bulletgreen:02 - Cuddling somewhere
:bulletgreen:03 - Gaming/watching a movie
:bulletgreen:04 - On a date
:bulletgreen:05 - Kissing
:bulletgreen:06 - Wearing eachothers’ clothes
:bulletgreen:07 - Cosplaying
:bulletgreen:08 - Shopping
:bulletgreen:09 - Hanging out with friends
:bulletgreen:10 - With animal ears
:bulletgreen:11 - Wearing kigurumis     Kigurumi
:bulletgreen:12 - Making out
:bulletgreen:13 - Eating icecream
:bulletgreen:14 - Genderswapped
:bulletgreen:15 - In a different clothing style (Visual Kei, gyaru, lolita, ect. )
:bulletgreen:16 - During their morning ritual(s)
:bulletgreen:17 - Spooning
:bulletgreen:18 - Doing something together (this can be anything from watching tv to having sex.  Just remember to tag appropriately.)
:bulletgreen:19 - In formal wear
:bulletgreen:20 - Dancing
:bulletgreen:21 - Cooking/baking
:bulletgreen:22 - In battle, side-by-side
:bulletgreen:23 - Arguing
:bulletgreen:24 - Making up afterwards
:bulletgreen:25 - Gazing into eachothers’ eyes
:bulletgreen:26 - Getting married
:bulletgreen:27 - On one of their birthdays
:bulletgreen:28 - Doing something ridiculous
:bulletgreen:29 - Doing something sweet
:bulletgreen:30 - Doing something hot (once again, be sure to tag if you make it extremely NSFW!)
:star:
Profile Pages - A Legend is Born
DeviantART is proud to announce the launch of NEW Profile Pages! In response to community feedback and deviously Deviant Technology innovation, new Profile Pages offer additional ways to personalize, customize, and organize your homebase at deviantART!
Module Icons
These Profile Page upgrades are much more than a simple set of new features. Built using a platform based on "modules", new Profile Pages have the ability to evolve and grow over time. Added to your Profile Page with just a few button clicks, modules couldn't be easier to use. New modules will be released regularly, allowing Profile Pages to continually adapt and meet the specific needs of the deviantART community.
What's New!
Fresh & Clean Profile Page Theme!
Profile Page Theme
  • Profile page tabs for Profile, Gallery, Prints, Faves, and Journals all feature a cleaner, brand new look!
Compact Profile Bar
Compact Profile Bar
  • Designed for consistency throughout profile pages, so people don't have to search around for info.
  • Dropdown menus provide additional ways to share details and display stats.
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Customization is Key!
Profile Zones
  • New Module Zones help increase page consistency across dA, while simultaneously promoting customization.
  • Rearrange your profile to personalize your deviantART experience.
More Ways to Display and Share Art!
Display Options
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New Modules/Widgets!
Modules/Widgets
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Edit On-The-Fly!
Edit On-The-Fly
  • Quickly change options with module "Edit" buttons.
More Ways to Display Your Deviants!
Display Deviants
  • List your friends, watchers, and visitors by usernames, avatars, or both.
Subscriber vs Non-Subscriber Features!
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Subscriber-Only Modules Include
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    • Display as: Username only, avatars only, or avatars and usernames.
    • Order by: Newest friend, oldest friend, or alphabetical.
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    • Ask your visitors a question.
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    • A forum just for your profile page.
  • ShoutboxShoutbox
    • Quickly chat with your visitors.
  • SitbackSitback
    • Feature for collections, gallery folders, favs, and newest that allows you to turn on a deviation slideshow.
  • Custom ModuleCustom Modules
    • Whatever you want.
  • CollectionsCollections
    • Show off your collections.
  • Gallery FoldersGallery Folders
    • Highlight a specific part of your gallery.
  • Having a subscription not only gives you access to special modules, but subscribers are also able to browse deviantART with no ad interruptions, view up to 120 deviations per page, and become beta testers for future feature releases. If you'd like to experience all deviantART has to offer with subscriber-access, click here to learn more.
Upgrade Your Free Membership!
Hip Hip Hooray!

New Profile Pages didn't appear overnight as the result of a tooth fairy wish. They've been born and nurtured from the talented members of devious Technology, Creative, and other stealth-like individuals. Additionally, deviantART beta testers played a large role in testing and refining the development process. Please join me in thanking everyone involved for their hard work and dedication in making Profile Pages the best thing since the birth of our :llama: icon.

Get To It!
Get To It!
  • The best way to learn about and understand new Profile Pages is to jump in and have at it! To get started, visit your own Profile Page and click the 'Edit Page' button. From there, drag and drop modules to your heart's content and prepare to get customized!
Get Premium Access Now!
deviantART loves you!

Hello!



Hello and welcome to my little html tutorial. I've been working with html codes for a couple of years and I'm going to teach you what I know about using some basic html on deviantART. This won't make you a html expert or something and I'm not an expert myself but it will give just enough knowledge to make your journals, comments, news articles and other neat and lovely looking. :)

deviantART actually has FAQs about html but I still wanted to do this because they look a bit unorganized, in my opinion. Also, why would you want to look for those FAQs when you can just open this news article where you have everything in one place? :dummy:

You may already know some of these, but I hope you'll find at least something helpful in this news article.

Some basic html



:bulletorange:Bold text: <b>insert text here</b>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletyellow:Italic text: <i>insert text here</i>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletorange:Underlined text: <u>insert text here</u>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletyellow:Strike: <strike>insert text here</strike>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletorange:Subscript: <sub>insert text here</sub>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletyellow:Superscript: <sup>insert text here</sup>

:pointr: Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:pointr:Also, it's good to know: You can use <sup> and <sub> as many times you want to make your text even smaller. <sub><sub><sub><sub>insert text here</sub></sub></sub></sub>
:pointr:Result: Tiny text

:bulletorange:Small text: <small>insert text here</small>

:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments and notes.

:bulletyellow:Blockquote: <blockquote>insert text here</blockquote>

:pointr: Result:
Example text

:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, notes and probably everywhere.

:bulletorange:Centering text: <div align="center">insert text here


:pointr:Result:
Example text

:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs and news articles. It won't work in notes, comments and artist's comments. It used to work in artist's comments, but for some reason, it doesn't any more.
:pointr:Also, it's good to know: you can replace "center" with "right" ("left" would be useless since it's default.)

:pointr:Result:
Example text

:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles.

:bulletyellow:Horizontal line: <hr>

:pointr:Result:

:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles and notes.

Font size - headings



:bulletorange:Headings:Since you can't actually change the font size with normal font size html codes, you'll need to use headings. There are 6 headings types:
<h1>Example text</h1>
<h2>Example text</h2>
<h3>Example text</h3>
<h4>Example text</h4>
<h5>Example text</h5>
<h6>Example text</h6>

:pointr:Result:

Example text


Example text


Example text


Example text


Example text

Example text



:new::pointr: This code will work in (premium) journals, news articles, artist's comments and special boxes on user's profile. It will not work in comments.


:bulletyellow:Code: Used for defining computer code, but deviants just use it to change their font. <code>Insert text here</code>

:pointr:Result: Example text
:pointr:This html code will work pretty much everywhere, I think. I don't use it that often so I'm not sure, but considering the popularity of it, I think it works everywhere.




Links and photos



:bulletorange:Including links to pages: <a href="insert url here">text that will be clickable</a>

:pointr: Result: Here's a link to deviantART
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries, group blogs, comments, artist's comments, news articles, but will not work in group notes.

:bulletyellow:Including photos: <a href="Insert link to the page where the photo is originally coming from"><img src="Insert link to photo"></a>
:pointr:This html code will work in: Premium journal entries, Super group blogs, custom boxes.

:bulletorange:Using big thumbs: <a href="Insert link address here"><img src="Insert Image URL here" width="Insert the desired width of the photo"></a>
:pointr:This html code will work in: journal entries (for premium members only), Super group blogs and custom boxes.

:pointr:To copy a link address, you need to go to the page of the photo you want to link and copy the address in the address bar of your browser. To copy image URL, you need to right click on the photo itself and select Copy image location if you use Firefox or something that implies that you're copying the location of the photo if you're using other browsers. The maximum size of a dA thumbnail is 150×150 which is rather small. Using 300 or 400 or even 500 pixels won't ruin your profile page if you're planning to use this in a journal, but bigger sizes will. The photos might even be cropped, depending on the size of your monitor and the size of the thumb.

:bulletyellow:Description pop-up:You can also include little pop-up text to your links by using this code:
<acronym title="popup text"><a href="insert url here">text that will be clickable</a></acronym>

:pointr:Result: deviantART




Combining codes



:bulletorange:You can also combine as many codes as you want. Let's say that the letter A is a start code and /A is the end code, and B is a different code that ends with /B, the same thing goes for C - /C and D - /D. The correct closing order goes like this: A B C D insert text here /D/C/B/A.
For example; here's a subscripted text that's bold, underlined, strike, italic, centerd and contains a link:
This won't be easy to read, but you get the point. Here's a link to dA again.


My code for this was:
<div align="center"><sub><b><i><u><strike>This won't be easy to read, but you get the point. <a href="www.deviantart.com/">Here's a link to dA again.</a></strike></u></i></b></sub></div>

I just wanted to show you all how ridiculously long and confusing this looks but it's really, really easy so don't be afraid of it. :nod:




Special characters



Here is the link to the special characters that you will probably use rarely. On the other hand, if you're ever planing to create a plz account or if you need to demonstrate html, these are the most common ones that you'll use:

:bulletyellow:Less-than sign: &lt;
:pointr:Result: <

:bulletorange:More-than sign: &gt;
:pointr:Result: >

:bulletyellow:Colon &#58;
:pointr:Result: :

Thumbs and username and icon tags



This isn't really html, but you'd be surprised how many people doesn't know how this works.

:bulletorange:Usernames: :devusername:, e.g. :devshaplz:
:pointr:Result: Shaplz

:bulletyellow:User icons: :iconusername: (that's how the plz accounts work), e.g. :iconshaplz:
:pointr:Result: :iconshaplz:

:pointr:You can also use these for linking groups.

:bulletorange:Thumbnails:Including thumbnails is very easy because all you need to do is copy the code located on the right side of each deviation. It's under "Share" part of the deviations, below groups and above "Details" and "Statistics".
There is a "Thumb" box with the code that usually looks something like this :thumb208669995:
:pointr:Result: Example by ScarletteDeath

Remember


:bulletyellow: It's very important to close your tags with "</>" because the rest of the text will have the same effect like the one you wanted to point out.

:bulletorange: Also, always hit "preview" button before you post a comment/journal entry/etc. no matter how sure you are you got it right.

:bulletyellow: If a deviant gets carried away with <sub> or <sup> tags, remember to


keep calm
and
zoom the page



:bulletorange: Remember that nobody knows all the tags by heart so don't be afraid to fave this article and visit whenever you need. ;)

:bulletyellow: If you ever need some help with html, remember that Google is your friend.

:bulletorange: If you know some other html codes that can be used on dA, feel free to share them. I never said I knew everything about this, I'm just here to share my knowledge. :aww:

I hope this helped! :wave:

WARNING! This giveaway is OVER! :) :)



Edit 10.1.2013:

Thank you everyone for participating in this point giveaway!!! :la: It was tremenduos how many people took part!! :D

SOOOOOOOO.... The 10 winners of 100 points each areeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.......

*drum roll*

:iconwalkermonetart: :iconxkrittterz: :iconfiregoddess2148: :iconsilverkiwi78: :iconneocargalpha: :iconcell-fey: :iconstephanie-chivas: :iconmaroy: :iconenigmaticsmile: :iconulrich-ironpaw:

CONGRATULATIONS!!! :iconlachoirplz:

Pls dont be disappointed if you didnt win! Stay tuned for the next event I am going to host anytime soon!! :D Thank you so much for your support!! :heart:

*Edit over*




-----



1000 POINTS GIVEAWAY!! 10 WINNERS!! :D





:la: :la: Let's PARTY HARD, cause as I am close to reach incredible 30,000 watchers I thought I should give something back to this awesome community by doing a point giveaway again!! :la: :la:


Just +FAV this journal

And you need to be a watcher of mine to be able to win! :D




---> 10 winners will be chosen totally randomly, each of them receiving 100 points!

---> The giveaway will be over three days after this journal is submitted!


Have fun! And if you want you can tell your friends/watchers about this! :D :heart:

Thank you for your support! :heart:




---



This doesnt belong to the giveaway/contest, but still it may be interesting for you to read! :D

My personal dA 3 1/2 years flashback:

My first submission:

Winters Wrath by JoJoesArt

With this picture it all started... My style was much much different back then and I was not really advanced in using Photoshop and my tablet, but I thought it was the first picture worth posting here on dA. I was mostly inspired by sandara by then, who is still one of my biggest rolemodels. :heart:

My first popular deviation:

Avatar Neytiri by JoJoesArt

This picture is the one, which started all the popularity and the overwhelming support I gained over the years. Avatar became the most popular movie of all time and I had much luck and kinda chose the perfect moment to draw and submit my Neytiri piece. Over night I got more than 1500 favourites and over 100 comments, which was the most exciting thing ever! My other pieces never got more than 50 favs back then. Till today the picture was downloaded more than 40,000 times, which is my most downloaded picture. This was really the starting point, because I also gained many more watchers and interest in my art. I still didn't really find my own style, I was still experimenting. :)

Fotolia Contest.. best decision ever:

God of Evanescence by JoJoesArt

I would call this the first picture, that really developed my own personal style. And it is one of my favourite pieces, even today! I submitted it to the Fotolia contest here on dA and it got the most popular of all entries over night. It was so exciting and overwhelming to read all the supportive comments and the picture is still among my most popular (most seen, most commented) pieces. It has also been my icon ever since! :D Even though I didn't win the contest, it still was the best decision to participate!

First Pokemon inspired piece:

I am here with you by JoJoesArt

Pokemon has always been my favourite game. It influenced my childhood and youth in a manner, that no other game or show could ever do. Till then I mostly drew fantasy pictures, dragons and stuff like that. I wasn't sure if my watchers would also appreciate Pokemon fanart, but when I submitted this painting I was tought differently! In no more than 3 days it had over 8000 favourites and 500 comments and was my first deviation to be the most popular of 1 week and even 1 month. Since then Pokemon became a major inspiration for me, not just because it was a popular topic, but because I always enjoyed drawing it and now saw, that people actually wanted to see more! :heart:

Simplicity makes the picture:

Night Bringer by JoJoesArt

This piece is one of my personal favourites. It is also one of the pictures, I spent no more than 5 hours on, so it is rather simple compared to many other pictures by me. But I learned, that a picture is much more about the atmosphere and idea than a massive amount of detail. This piece is also my most sold print, as it was featured by the staff of dA on the dA print shop. I am so happy to be able to even earn money with my hobby, it is still unbelievable for me!!

My first Daily Deviation:

Forgotten Fairytales by JoJoesArt

This piece by me was the first one to be featured as a Daily Deviation. It was the greatest honour for me, when I logged in and saw my piece down between all the awesome pictures, which were chosen to be featured. Till today I have received 4 DD's, of which each one is more than appreciated! :heart:

Princess Mononoke:

Princess Mononoke by JoJoesArt

This is my all time favourite picture of mine. The movie "Princess Mononoke" had a great impact on my childhood and I loved that movie ever since I can remember. When I finally got to draw a fanart, I was really satisfied with it and had so much fun drawing it! It also hugely developed my style and I improved in drawing humans! And it is my most popular deviation, with nearly 18,000 favourites as of this moment. I can't believe that many people decided to fav it! It is just incredible!! :la:

Universe:

Universe by JoJoesArt

This is the first traditional picture I was really really satisfied with! After all the years of drawing digitally I was not used to traditional art anymore, but my sister PixieCold kinda got me into it again! This picture means a lot to me and it also proves, that simple things often are better than the hyper complex ones! ^^

...

That was it about my little "flashback".. ^^ I really hope you enjoyed reading it! :D I am so happy about all the exposure, feedback and awesome opportunities this site has given me as an artist! Every one of my watchers contributes highly to my success and improvement and you all inspire me to keep going!! Thank you so much for everything! Without you I would be nothing! :heart: :heart:

Lackadaisy - Patreon

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 30, 2013, 1:24 PM

I've recently left my job in the game industry so that I could focus more of my time and attention on Lackadaisy.  Patreon is my weapon of choice in trying to see this to fruition.

If more Lackadaisy comic updates, illustrations, tutorials, mini-comics, books and other things interests you, please do check it out!

Support Lackadaisy on Patreon


Notes on Character Design


I received the question pictured below at my tumblr blog.  In case it's useful to anyone here, I decided to go ahead and use this otherwise dormant journal to share the article I put together in response.


character design question


Character design and drawing are tome-sized topics and even if I had all the answers (I don't - I have a lot to learn), I'm not sure I could communicate them effectively. Here are some thoughts an ideas that might help, though.


First, some general things...

- Relax.
Let some of that anxiety go. This isn't a hard science. There's no wrong way, no rigid process you must adhere to, no shoulds or shouldn'ts except those you designate for yourself. This is one of the fun parts of being an artist, really - have a heady good time with it.

- Be patient.
A design is something gradually arrived at. It takes time and iteration and revision. You'll throw a lot of stuff away, and you'll inevitably get frustrated at times, but bear in mind the process is both inductive and deductive. Drawing the wrong things is part of the path toward drawing the right thing.

cat sketches

- Learn to draw.
It might seem perfunctory to say, but I'm not sure everyone's on the same page about what this means. Learning to draw isn't a sort of rote memorization process in which, one by one, you learn a recipe for humans, horses, pokemon, cars, etc. It's much more about learning to think like an artist, to develop the sort of spacial intelligence that lets you observe and effectively translate to paper, whatever the subject matter. When you're really learning to draw, you're learning to draw anything and everything. Observing and sketching trains you to understand dimension, form, gesture, mood, how anatomy works, economy of line; all of the foundational stuff you will also rely on to draw characters from your imagination. So, spend some time honing your drawing ability. Hone it with observational sketching. Hone it good.

  • I don't think I've ever seen anyone do this sort of thing better than Claire Wendling. In fact, character designs emerge almost seamlessly from her gestural sketches. It'd be worth looking her up.

- Gather inspiration like a crazed magpie.
What will ultimately be your trademark style and technique is a sort of snowball accumulation of the various things you expose yourself to, learn and draw influence from. To that effect, Google images, tumblr, pinterest and stock photo sites are your friends. When something tingles your artsy senses - a style, a shape, a texture, an appealing palette, a composition, a pose, a cool looking animal, a unique piece of apparel, whatever - grab it. Looking at a lot of material through a creative lens will make you a better artist the same way reading a lot of material makes a better writer.
It'll also devour your hard drive and you will try and fail many times to organize it, but more importantly, it'll give you a lovely library of ideas and motivational shinies to peruse when you're conjuring characters.

- Imitate.
It's a powerful learning tool. Probably for many of us, drawing popular cartoon characters was the gateway habit that lured us into the depraved world of character design to begin with. I wouldn't suggest limiting yourself to one style or neglecting your own inventions to do this, but it's an effective way to limber up, to get comfortable drawing characters in general, and to glean something from the thought processes of other artists.

- Use references.
Don't leave it all up to guessing. Whether you're trying to design something with realistic anatomy or something rather profoundly abstracted from reality, it's helpful in a multitude of ways to look at pictures. When designing characters, you can infer a lot personality from photos, too.
horse reference horses

And despite what you might have heard, having eyeballs and using them to look at things doesn't constitute cheating. There's no shame in reference material. There's at least a little shame in unintentional abstractions, though.

shame


Concepts and Approach:

- Break it down
Sometimes you have the look of a character fleshed out in your mind before putting it to paper, but usually not. That doesn't mean you have to blow your cortical fuses trying conceive multiple diverse designs all at the same time, though. You don't even have to design the body shape, poses, face, and expressions of a single character all at once. Tackle it a little at a time.

The cartoony, googly eyed style was pre-established for the simple mobile game goblin character below, but I still broke it into phases. Start with concepts, filter out what you like until you arrive at a look, experiment with colors, gestures and expressions.

Carl the goblin accountant cyber-monkey-death-bots


- Start with the general and work toward the specific.
Scribbling out scads of little thumbnails and silhouettes to capture an overall character shape is an effective way begin - it's like jotting down visual notes. When you're working at a small scale without agonizing over precision and details, there's no risk of having to toss out a bunch of hard work, so go nuts with it. Give yourself a lot of options.

Above sample silhouettes from an old cancelled project in which I was tasked with designing some kind of cyber monkey death bot. I scratched out some solid black shapes then refined some of them a step or two further.



Design:

- Shapes are language.
They come preloaded with all sorts of biological, cultural and personal connotations. They evoke certain things from us too. If you’re ever stuck about where to go with your design, employ a sort of anthroposcopy along these lines - make a visual free association game out of it. It’ll not only tend to result in a distinguished design, but a design that communicates something about the nature of the character.

Think about what you infer from different shapes. What do they remind you of? What personalities or attitudes come to mind? How does the mood of a soft curve differ from that of a sharp angle? With those attributes attached, how could they be used or incorporated into a body or facial feature shape? What happens when you combine shapes in complementary or contrasting ways? How does changing the weight distribution among a set of shapes affect look and feel? Experiment until a concept starts to resonate with the character you have in mind or until you stumble on something you like.

Lucky Charms rejects


If you don’t have intent, take the opposite approach - draw some shapes and see where they go. (It’s stupid fun.)

monster shapes


- Cohesion and Style.
As you move from thumbnails to more refined drawings, you can start extrapolating details from the general form. Look for defining shapes, emergent themes or patterns and tease them out further, repeat them, mirror them, alternate them. Make the character entirely out of boxy shapes, incorporate multiple elements of an architectural style, use rhythmically varying line weights - there are a million ways to do this

Here's some of the simple shape repetition I've used for Lackadaisy characters.

And for potato shaped characters, use potato shaped shapes.

- Expressions.
Let them emerge from your design. If your various characters have distinguishing features, the expressions they make with those features will distinguish them further. Allow personality to influence expressions too, or vice versa. Often, a bit of both happens as you continue drawing - physiognomy and personality converge somewhere in the middle.

For instance, Viktor’s head is proportioned a little like a big cat. Befitting his personality, his design lets him make rather bestial expressions. Rocky, with his flair for drama, has a bit more cartoon about him. His expressions are more elastic, his cheeks squish and deform and his big eyebrows push the boundaries of his forehead. Mitzi is gentler all around with altogether fewer lines on her face. The combination of her large sleepy eyes and pencil line brow looked a little sad and a little condescending to me when I began working out her design - ultimately those aspects became incorporated into her personality.

expressions


I discuss expression drawing in more detail here (click the image for the link):

expressions

- Poses.
Rendering poses is another one of those things for which observational/gesture drawing comes in handy. Even if you’re essentially scribbling stick figures, you can get a handle on natural looking, communicative poses this way. Stick figure poses make excellent guidelines for plotting out full fledged character drawings too.

Look for the line of action. It’ll be easiest to identify in poses with motions, gestures and moods that are immediately decipherable. When you’ve learned to spot it, you can start reverse engineering your own poses around it.

line of action

- Additional resources.
Here are some related things about drawing poses and constructing characters (click the images for the links).

expressions


expressions


Lastly…

Tortured rumination about lack of ability/style/progress is a near universal state of creative affairs. Every artist I have known and worked with falls somewhere on a spectrum between frustration in perpetuity and a shade of fierce ongoing contrition that'd make Arthur Dimmesdale wince. So, next time you find yourself constructing a scourge out of all those crusty acrylic brushes you failed to clean properly, you loathsome, deluded hack, you, at least remember you’re not alone in feeling that way. When it’s not crushing the will to live out of you, the device does have its uses - it keeps you self-critical and locked in working to improve mode. If we were all quite satisfied with our output, I suppose we’d be out of reasons to try harder next time.

When you need some reassurance, compare old work to new. Evolution is gradual and difficult to perceive if you’re narrowed in on the nearest data point, but if you’ve been steadily working on characters for a few months or a year, you’ll likely see a favorable difference between points A and B.

Most of all, don’t dwell on achieving some sort of endgame in which you’re finally there as a character artist. There’s no such place - wherever you are, there is somewhere else. It’s a moving goal post. Your energy will be better spent just enjoying the process…and that much will show in the results.